Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-568f69f84b-n9pbb Total loading time: 0.217 Render date: 2021-09-17T11:43:46.906Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Article contents

‘Interpreting’ at Vindolanda: Commercial and Linguistic Mediation in the Roman Army

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2012

Rachel Mairs*
Affiliation:
Merton College, University of Oxford rachel.mairs@gmail.com

Abstract

A fragmentary tablet from Vindolanda (Tab. Vindol. II, 213) contains an occurrence of the verb interpretari (‘interpret’, ‘explain’, ‘mediate’) in an apparently commercial context, relating to the grain supply for the Roman fort. This usage is paralleled in a text on a wooden stilus tablet from Frisia in the Netherlands. ‘Interpreters’ and their activities make rather infrequent appearances in the Latin epigraphic and documentary records. In the Danubian provinces, interpreters (interpretes) are attested as army officers and officials in the office of the provincial governor. ‘Interpreters’, in both Latin and Greek inscriptions and papyri, often, however, play more ambiguous roles, not always connected with language-mediation, but also, or instead, with mediation in commercial transactions.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2012. Published by The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adams, J.N. 2002: ‘Bilingualism at Delos’, in Adams, J.N., Janse, M. and Swain, S. (eds), Bilingualism in Ancient Society: Language Contact and the Written Text, Oxford, 103–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Austin, N.J.E., and Rankov, N.B. 1995: Exploratio. Military and Political Intelligence in the Roman World from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople, New York Google Scholar
Barkóczi, L., and Mócsy, A. 1972– : Die römischen Inschriften Ungarns, Budapest/Bonn Google Scholar
Bowman, A.K., Tomlin, R.S.O., and Worp, K.A., 2009: ‘Emptio Bovis Frisica: the ‘‘Frisian Ox Sale’' reconsidered', Journal of Roman Studies 99, 156–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clarysse, W., and Vandorpe, K. 1995: Zenon, un homme d'affaires grec à l'ombre des pyramides, Ancorae 14, Louvain Google Scholar
Cotton, H.M. 1995: ‘Subscriptions and signatures in the papyri from the Judaean Desert: the xeiroxrh/sthj’, Journal of Juristic Papyrology 25, 2940 Google Scholar
Cotton, H.M. 2003: ‘The Roman census in the papyri from the Judaean Desert and the Egyptian κατ’ οἰκίαν ἀπογραφή’, in Schiffman, L.A. (ed.), Semitic Papyrology in Context: A Climate of Creativity, Leiden, 105–22Google Scholar
Eck, W. 2004: ‘Lateinisch, Griechisch, Germanisch … ? Wie sprach Rom mit seinen Untertanen?’, in de Ligt, L., Hemelrijk, E.A. and Singor, H.W. (eds), Roman Rule and Civic Life: Local and Regional Perspectives, Amsterdam, 319 Google Scholar
Goldsworthy, A., and Haynes, I. (eds) 1999: The Roman Army as a Community, Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplementary Series 34, Portsmouth, RIGoogle Scholar
Kolnik, T. 1978: ‘Q. Atilius Primus – Interprex, Centurio und Negotiator’, Acta Archaeologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 30, 6175 Google Scholar
Künow, J. 1980: Negotiator et Vectura: Händler und Transport im Freien Germanien, Munich Google Scholar
Le Bas, P., and Waddington, W.H., 1870: Recueils des inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, Inscriptions grecques et latines recueillies en Grèce et en Asie Mineure. Tome III. Première partie: Textes, Paris Google Scholar
Mairs, R. 2010: ‘An early Roman application for lease of a date crop (P. Duk. inv. 85) and the “Six-Choinix Measure of the Hermeneus’, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 172, 183–91Google Scholar
Mairs, R. 2011: ‘ Translator, traditor: the interpreter as traitor in Classical tradition’, Greece & Rome 58, 6481 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mairs, R. forthcoming a: ‘Interpreters and translators in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt’, in Schubert, P. (ed.), Proceedings of the 26th International Congress of Papyrology, Geneva 2010, Geneva Google Scholar
Mairs, R. forthcoming b: ‘κατὰ τὸ δυνατόν: Demotic-Greek translation in the Archive of the Theban Choachytes’, in Cromwell, J. and Grossman, E. (eds), Beyond Free Variation: Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the Old Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period, Oxford Google Scholar
Mairs, R., and Martin, C.J., 2008–9: ‘A bilingual “sale” of liturgies from the Archive of the Theban Choachytes: P. Berlin 5507, P. Berlin 3098 and P. Leiden 413’, Enchoria, Zeitschrift für Demotistik und Koptologie 31, 2267 Google Scholar
Mirković, M. 1986: Inscriptions de la Mésie Supérieure. Vol. II: Viminacium et Margum, Belgrade Google Scholar
Mócsy, A. 1974: Pannonia and Upper Moesia: A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire, London Google Scholar
Mosser, M. 2003: Die Steindenkmäler der legio XV Apollinaris, Wiener Archäologische Studien 5, Wien Google Scholar
Pestman, P.W. 1981: A Guide to the Zenon Archive (P.L. Bat. 21), Papyrologica Lugduno-Batava 21, Leiden Google Scholar
Rankov, N.B. 1987: The Beneficiarii Consularis in the Western Provinces of the Roman Empire, unpub. DPhil thesis, University of Oxford, Oxford Google Scholar
Rankov, B. 1999: ‘The governor's men: the officium consularis in provincial administration’, in Goldsworthy and Haynes 1999, 15–34Google Scholar
Ray, J.D. 1987: ‘Phrases used in dream-texts’, in Vleeming, S.P. (eds), Aspects of Demotic Lexicography, Acts of the Second International Conference for Demotic Studies, Leiden, 19–21 September 1984, Leuven, 8593 Google Scholar
Roth, J. 1998: The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 b.c.a.d. 235), LeidenGoogle Scholar
Schentuleit, M. 2001: ‘Die spätdemotische Hausverkaufsurkunde P. BM. 262: Ein bilingues Dokument aus Soknopaiu Nesos mit griechischen Übersetzungen’, Enchoria, Zeitschrift für Demotistik und Koptologie 27, 127–54Google Scholar
Venuti, L. 2008: The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation (2nd edn), London Google Scholar
Wilkes, J.J. 1999: ‘The Roman army as a community in the Danube lands: the case of the Seventh Legion’, in Goldsworthy and Haynes 1999, 95104 Google Scholar
Wilkes, J.J. 2005: ‘The Roman Danube: an archaeological survey', Journal of Roman Studies 95, 124225 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wiotte-Franz, C. 2001: Hermeneus und Interpres: zum Dolmetscherwesen in der Antike, Saarbrücker Studien zur Archäologie und alten Geschichte 16, SaarbrückenGoogle Scholar
1
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

‘Interpreting’ at Vindolanda: Commercial and Linguistic Mediation in the Roman Army
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

‘Interpreting’ at Vindolanda: Commercial and Linguistic Mediation in the Roman Army
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

‘Interpreting’ at Vindolanda: Commercial and Linguistic Mediation in the Roman Army
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *